THE state's peak body for sheep and goat graziers has slammed the planned national rollout of new electronic identification for stock, labelling it "sheer stupidity".
AgForce sheep and wool board president Stephen Tully said the timeline, which would mean all sheep and farmed goats would need an eID tag before January 1, 2025, was unrealistic.
It comes as meetings about the rollout's roadmap, which was unveiled earlier this year, gave producers the chance to voice their concerns.
Such was the push back in NSW, that the state has delayed its mandate for tagging back to 2027
Mr Tully said AgForce was pushing for the deadline to also be pushed back in Queensland.
"We'd like it to be pushed back until 2029, to ensure old sheep that are in the system now are pushed through, because it makes no sense for someone to tag an older sheep that is just going to be processed the very next day at the meatworks," Mr Tully said.
"I mean those older sheep have still got a PIC number in their ear, NVDs and now ENVDs through the MLA app, which also works offline, so there are strong traceability measures currently in place.
"However, there is no increase in traceability at all by tagging an animal a day before it is sent to the meatworks for processing, in fact, all it does is cause grief for the person tagging the animal, cause stress and pain for the animal as well as impacting the quality of its meat.
"We want them tagged earlier so that by 2028-2029 all those sheep that currently don't have an eID are no longer in the system.
"To do it any earlier is honestly just sheer stupidity."
According to the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, milestones included in the rollout will also feature tagging all managed farmed sheep and goats born on or after January 1 2025, tagging all managed farmed sheep and goats leaving their property of birth or last property of residence and sufficient infrastructure to allow scanning of tagged animals as they move through the supply chain.
However, Mr Tully said the roadmap was created without much consideration for issues raised by AgForce.
"We have had the ability to approach the state government a number of times, but we haven't had any feedback on that or seen any response to some of the things we've suggested," he said.
"It seems to us at the moment, unless we see some real detail, that this has not been consultation with the state government it has been dictation.
"The Queensland Government has consulted with us about the rollout of EIDs, however we don't feel like we are being listened to because we have asked for the rollout to be pushed back, yet they are pushing ahead with the proposed national rollout.
"Honestly, to use a bit of an analogy, it feels like the government sits you down, pats you on the head and says 'we'll look after it, we know better', which is quite frustrating."
Queensland Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Minister Mark Furner said the government was planning on having more consultation with stakeholders.
"It is premature to prejudge the Queensland rollout when the QTAG group - of which AgForce is an important member - has not met yet," Mr Furner said.
"I look forward to discussing all of these issues in a constructive way with AgForce and other industry stakeholders."
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